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Four Down Works For Cardinals

Notebook: Peterson past "health-related" issue; Arians says team comes out "clean" after Cowboys


Defensive linemen Tommy Kelly (95), Dan Williams (92) and Frostee Rucker (98) crash in to tackle Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray Sunday, as Calais Campbell (93) slides into the play.

The Cardinals have not used a lot of four-man fronts on defense this season. They wanted to against the 49ers, but then the Niners used a spread attack and started throwing every down and the Cards switched their plan.

The Cowboys weren't going to do the same Sunday, not when DeMarco Murray was in the backfield and backup Brandon Weeden was playing

quarterback. So the Cards went four-down – getting Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Frostee Rucker and Tommy Kelly on the field at the same time, and rotating in others – and it worked. Murray was held under 100 yards for the first time this season, and the Cowboys gained just 92 yards on the ground total.

"We all get 1-on-1 matchups now," Campbell said. "Let's go play football. We did a pretty good job. To see the d-line to play the way we did, it felt good. We know how good we can be if the d-line plays well. In our room, we really feel like if the d-line plays well, we'll win every game."

That notion was emphasized early last week, when defensive line coach Brentson Buckner gave a clear challenge to his unit.

"At one point coach Buck told us in the d-line room, 'If we lose, it's our fault,' " Williams said.

Williams had a team-leading seven tackles in the game. The Cardinals have not allowed a 100-yard rusher for 18 straight games, the second-longest active streak in the league to Baltimore (19).

"Those guys did a heck of a nice job penetrating and getting on the other side of the line of scrimmage and creating havoc," coach Bruce Arians said.


Arians said cornerback Patrick Peterson had his best game "in a long, long time," lamenting the late touchdown he gave up to wide receiver Dez Bryant.

But in light of some of struggles Peterson has had on the field this season, the coach also mentioned Peterson had dealt with a "health-related" issue at some point, although he declined to elaborate.

"That's for him and his doctors," Arians said. "Everything's good now and he looks great."


Arians said the Cardinals had only the "normal bumps and bruises" after playing in Dallas and that no one should miss practice time because of it. The only player who missed the game Sunday because of injury was running back Stepfan Taylor (calf), who said last week he was week-to-week with his return.

Linebacker Matt Shaughnessy must still miss four more games while rehabbing his knee while on the injured reserve/designated to return list, although he is eligible to return to practice after the Detroit game.


Arians has talked before about wanting to not be a father figure but a "cool uncle" when it comes to his persona with the players. That led to an emotional closing of his Monday press conference.

"I want to say this because you've all heard me talk about the 'cool uncle,' " Arians said, fighting tears. "That was my uncle Gus. He passed away Saturday. I love you."


Defensive tackle Bruce Gaston, who was cut Saturday so running back Kerwynn Williams could be promoted from the practice squad to the active roster, was re-signed to the practice squad Monday.

Images of CB Antonio Cromartie's key fourth-quarter interception

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